Azur 1/72 Cierva C.30
KIT #: A015
PRICE: $13.00
DECALS: Four options
REVIEWER: Peter Burstow
NOTES: Short run kit


Designed by Juan de la Cierva , the C.30 Autogyro was built by the Cierva Autogiro Company and first flew in 1933. It was license produced in relatively large numbers by Avro in the U.K., Lioré-et-Olivier in France and Focke-Wulf in Germany. They were variously engined, Avro using the Armstrong Siddeley Genet Major 1A, LeO using Salmson 9Ne, and Focke-Wulf using the Siemens Sh14e.

 Of the 78 built by Avro, 12 were delivered to the RAF in 1934 and 1935, called the Rota. Around 26 were exported to various civil and military users. Many of the civil examples were impressed during WW2. Used for radar calibration, the survivors were sold to civil owners after the war. About eleven are displayed in museums around the world.


Around 35 parts in soft grey plastic make up this small kit. The parts have fine engraved detail, and subdued fabric effect on the fuselage and flying surfaces. The cockpit is sparsely furnished with seats, instrument panels and bulkheads. There is flash and moulding joints on the parts, as well as prominent jector towers, some of which will need removed.

 There are four resin parts, two for the seven cylinder engine and exhaust, what may be a compass for the upper deck, and the rotor head. I doubt that the rotor head part will be strong enough to support the three rotor blades. There are four tiny vacformed windscreens supplied, two spares.

 The decals have markings for four aircraft. An all green Czechoslovak Air Force aircraft from 1936, a silver and grey French Navy example from 1938. A camouflaged RAF aircraft from 1943, AP507 was one of the civil aircraft impressed in 1940. An all silver Spanish Air Force aircraft is the fourth option.

 A nice touch is that the port tailplane is moulded with an inverse aerofoil section, as in the real aircraft, to counteract torque. For accuracy, the engine would need replaced for the French aircraft, as the Salmson was a nine cylinder radial.


 Added the floor, bulkheads, instrument panels and seats to a cockpit half, and painted it all light grey, then touched up a few details and added lap belts using blue tape. The cockpit is not really visible through the small openings, and further concealed by the rotor pylon. I needed to trim the floor and bulkheads slightly to close up the fuselage. Not much in the way of sub-assemblies on this little kit. I attached the three part tail planes and the rotor mast assembly. Removed the resin parts from the pouring stubs and cleaned them up.

 Joined the resin engine and exhaust, but did not attach it to the fuselage. The resin parts were nicely moulded with fine detail. I drilled out the ends of the exhaust collector. As the engine is exposed, I did a little extra painting and dry brushing to bring out the details.

Needed a little filler and clean up on the fuselage joints. Assembled the complicated undercarriage, each leg having five parts, making up two tripods. The whole thing being a maze of struts. Used the instructions, box art and photographs I took of the preserved examples at the RAF and the Science museums in London. Put the upper tripod together first, as it was positively located to the fuselage, left it overnight to harden, then added the lower tripod. Had to do some adjustment to leg lengths to make it even. 


 I picked the RAF version, light sea grey under-surfaces, with dark earth and dark green top sides. Then added the decals using the profile supplied. The uncowled radial engine needed a bit of special attention. I painted it and the exhaust collector Mr Metal 'dark iron' then dry brushed highlights with Mr Metal 'chrome silver', 

Added the painted resin engine and propeller and the wheels. I gave up on the vacformed windshields, too small for me to deal with. I made new ones from a bit of vacformed pill packaging.

 I decided there was no way the resin rotor head was going to hold up the rotor blades, so scratch built a new one using the resin part as a template. The main structure was copper wire which I soldered into a caltrop. I added the thinned resin rotor hub for decoration. Then drilled holes in the end of the rotor blades to attach them. Bit of work but the result is strong enough, and I was able to adjust the droop of the blades. Left the rotor unattached for easy handling.


 A nice little model of an interesting aircraft. There are not many autogyro kits around. Went together very easily for a limited run kit, with the resin engine a real highlight. Recommended.


 Peter Burstow

 September 2013

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